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Moods, behaviour and feelings

As young people mature, they are presented with new experiences. The way teenager’s brains develop means that they may feel emotions very intensely, and they may not yet have developed tools to deal with their feelings. Young people can be sensitive, self-conscious, and experience a range of emotions that at times can be overwhelming – these feelings can then be expressed by being argumentative or disrespectful towards others. It is important to consider how a situation may be affecting them. Some important factors that impact on behaviour include lack of sleep, poor diet, too much screen time, mental health.

Transition to secondary school opens up new challenges and this can bring multiple different emotions that can feel overwhelming. This can impact on your children's ability to absorb information and react positively to new situations. This might result in new feelings and behaviours which can be frightening and confusing.

A combination of different school rule and boundaries, plus an expectation to control behaviours can also effect the way young people feel about school. The size of the building, number of students and change in supporting adults and structure of the day can also contribute to feelings of uncertainty and changes in behaviour.

What you can do to help

There a number of strategies that can be used to help combat challenging behaviours that emerge during adolescence:

Building resilience in teenagers and the development of coping skills will help them to overcome difficult situations. Having strong, positive relationships and spending time with your child is key to building resilience. This can be fostered by:

  • Encouraging healthy habits in diet, exercise and adequate sleep.
  • Listening to concerns in a compassionate way and allowing your teenager to speak uninterrupted, problem-solving together and asking them if they would like to hear your opinion or advice before offering it to them.
  • Encouraging talking about emotions or problems, and checking-in to make sure there’s nothing they are particularly stressed or worried about.
  • Spending time with your teenagers one-on-one and together as a family showing interest in what’s happening in their life and celebrating achievements. Encourage face to face contact with peers and reduce screen time.

Who can help?

For more advice about managing moods, behaviours and feeling speak to one of our team. You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation. **Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm excluding bank holidays**

Older children (aged 11-19) can ask advice from a school nurse by texting our confidential ChatHealth service on 07480 635 443.

Sometimes, ongoing challenging behaviour can indicate other health issues.  If you are concerned about your child, please contact your GP.

If heated arguments happen regularly, and your child finds its difficult to control their frustration or anger, it may be helpful for them to seek support from a health or education professional or independent counsellor, who may offer an independent and unbiased view and recommend new ways to deal with their anger.

Need more information?

In a mental health crisis call NHS 111, option 2 for support.

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Delivering excellence in Children and Young People’s Services:
a partnership between Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
Funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council

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